Big Arc (label)
19 January 2015 (released)
23 December 2014
David Bronson certainly can't be accused of slacking. This is his third album since 2013 -- and his debut was a 22 song set that painfully picked through the torment of his late-teens and twenties. For his third album Bronson has matured musically and of age, as he moves into his thirties. There is still some self-reflection going on, as the title suggests, but the melodies are easier to find.
Songbird opens with a clear indication of what to expect. Male and female harmonies entwine over a gently strumming guitar, before Bronson tells us he has no idea where he's going and the "questions are mine". The song gently builds before a gospel style singalong. Other tracks are more vulnerable and less accessible; Day By Day's a tender piano ballad that has more than a dash of John Lennon, a comparison that could also be made on the beautiful Song of Life, which features a delicate piece of Fleetwood Mac Albatross-style guitar.
The likes of Connect The Dots and the more upbeat Task (a track that jars a little with the rest of the set) push the album a little too close to a therapy session with the ongoing 'questions' about life and relationships. But the added depth will appeal to those not wanting just a quick fix.
The real magic ingredient though is Robin Clark's vocal, which is used wonderfully to water down Bronson's slightly tortured and twee vocal. She deserves more than just a side credit. While not as poppy as Andy Burrows' Fall Together Again from this year, there are similarities in their obvious adoration of 70s pop-rock and Bronson certainly knows a great tune. It's been a good year for male singer songwriters -- and Questions is a great way to start off 2015.